Published on February 3, 2014 | by Catherine Van De Stouwe

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Book Review: The Book Thief

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Poster for the film version of 'The Book Thief'

The film adaption of the novel is released Februrary 28. [Twentieth Century Fox]

Despite the somewhat daunting revelation on page one, The Book Thief is a novel that you are compelled to read again and again.

Accustomed to World War Two stories based on the allies’ point of view, it is refreshing to get the story told through the life of a young German girl, Liesel Memimger, as she tries to understand what is happening in the world around her whilst struggling to grow up in Nazi Germany.

Following the young girl, Death is our thoughtful narrator who finds himself compelled to watch little Liesel after he sees her steal her first book, setting in motion a series of events in which their paths will cross twice more.

The author, Markus Zusak, is a clever writer. While the main focus is on Liesel and life in the small town of Molching, subtle references and brief observations from the narrator give the story a number of layers about the time the novel is set to the nature of human life.

Emotion

Friendship, family and thievery are the recurring themes of this novel. Reading The Book Thief, you are guaranteed to feel every emotion possible as you follow Liesel’s trials and triumphs through learning to read with her foster father in the dead of the night, to surviving bombing, to friendship with a Jewish man seeking refuge in her home.

Though it is not a quick read, with an ending that warms the cockles of the heart, it is not a book that will be put down easily.

Be sure to read The Book Thief before the film version hits screens nationwide on February 28.

 

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